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Philips Adds iPod Speakers

6/09/2010 01:38:19 PM Eastern

New York - The inaugural Fidelio
series of iPod-docking speaker systems from Philips steps up the company's top-end
price point to suggested $499, introduces a new curved styling, and features the
company's first models with free iPhone/iPod Touch apps to add features.

 Philips

They're also the company's first iPod-docking
speaker systems to dock with iPhone and iPods with their protective cases on.
And two are the company's first to capture iPod/iPhone audio in digital PCM
form.

The company also:

 --launched two new docking speakers outside
the Fidelio series, both sporting a more traditional design,

--plans its first iPad/iPod/iPhone-docking
speaker system sometime in the second half. It will feature built-in stereo
Bluetooth and AC/DC operation. Consumers would use Bluetooth to transmit audio
while holding an iPad to play a motion-sensing game, or they could use
Bluetooth to transmit music while holding onto the iPad. While docked, the iPad
would double as a photo frame with music playing in the background. Additional
details were unavailable. 

The Fidelio speaker systems, all
one-piece units ranging in price from $69.99 to $499, just became available, and
all but the $69.99 model became available at Apple stores. The top three models
are exclusive to Apple.

The Fidelio name is earmarked for
products that are "more aesthetically pleasing" in the home, said customer
marketing director Roy Carpenter. Because of the additional functionality
provided by the app, the company didn't have to place as many buttons on the
units' chassis, enabling the giving the company the flexibility to design
aesthetically pleasing shapes, Carpenter said.

Philips also stepped up sound
quality at all price points in the series, which tops out at $499, compared
with a previous Philips top price point of $199, he said.

For all five Fidelio models, the
free app adds alarm clock and sleep-timer functions. In the $99.99 model, the
app adds those functions plus bass boost, and in the $199.99 and $499 models,
the additional functions are preset EQ settings and user-adjustable five-band
equalizer. More functions will be added with future app updates.

All five feature spring-loaded
30-pin connector to accommodate an iPod's protective case and hold the iPod
against a support when iPod controls are pressed.

At the top of the line, the
company said, the $499 DS 9000 features separate woofers and ring-radiator
tweeters, 100-watt Class D amplifier, capture of an iPod's digital PCM output, a
front dock, black-fabric face, a curved-back chassis that eliminates internal
standing waves and a chassis made of wood to enhance stiffness. A proximity sensor
lights up a backlit control panel when someone approaches.

At the bottom of the lineup, the
$69.99 DS1100 consists of a round base with top-mounted dock, top-mounted
speaker pair to deliver omnidirectional sound, 4-watt output, aux input, and
clock display that synchronizes with an iPhone/iPod clock when docked. It also
features USB port to charge a connected portable device, and its base glows
from the bottom.

Stepping up to $79.99, the DS3000
features curved back, front-mounted dock, 8-watt output and aux input. For
desktop use, it has iPod/iPhone synchronization of media and contacts with a
connected PC. It also features USB port to charge a connected portable device.

At $129.99, the DS7550 is the
company's first portable AC/DC rechargeable dock, said Carpenter. It features front
dock, slim design to take on the go, metal grille for durability, aluminum back
chassis, scratch-resistant coating, protective case, aux input and Philips's
Woox bass enhancement. It comes with 10-watt amp, aux input and the battery's
playback time is more than eight hours, Carpenter said.

The $199 DS8500 features
curved-back chassis, front dock, 30-watt output, ability to capture digital PCM
audio from a docked iPod/iPhone, and proximity sensor to light up backlit
controls.

The two new docking speakers not
in the Fidelio series are the 5-watt $69.99 DC220 FM clock radio and the
10-watt $99.99 DC290 clock radio with aluminum chassis.

Both also feature spring-loaded
dock and ability to dock with iPods/iPhones with their protective cases on.
Both are dual-alarm models with FM radio and aux input.